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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Letters to the Editor: Questions to ask School Board Candidates

To the Editor:

After reading Mrs. Fallon’s Letter to the Editor in the October 6 paper, I feel that I could also weigh in on the topic of school board culture and leadership. I have served this community as mayor and council person for nine years. I’ve been on the school board for more than a decade, I’ve seen it all. Mrs. [Kelli] Fallon’s letter was spot on. The questions can apply to any board member or candidate serving in any municipality across America.

You need to ask who is responsible for the “me first” culture on the board and why year after year, other board members still want them to be in these positions of influence? When we put ourselves out there as public servants, we always subject ourselves to scrutiny. Am I perfect? No. But I care deeply about the people of Hammonton, especially the children. I make every decision on the board with them as my focus. What are we teaching our children when we allow this culture to continue?

Ask the candidates who they will support for leadership on the board. It’s the very first decision we make as a board. Ask for a name. Ask why. Their answers might surprise you. This has nothing to do with political parties, or being a nice person or being a male or female, but it has everything to do with personal integrity.

Teachers, thank you. You have gotten our kids though almost two years of COVID-19. Your roles as teachers, coaches and mentors are so important to our kids. Teachers should never have to worry about making board members happy. You don’t serve us. You serve our children and I thank you for it.

I want to emphasize this is my opinion and my opinion only. I am not speaking on behalf of the district, the board or any of its members.

It’s sad that the world is the way it is. However, there is goodness out there. There is goodness in our town. There’s goodness in the schools. There’s goodness on the school board. Find it. Support it.

Barbara Berenato



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